AT&T raises subscriber forecast for HBO Max as streaming booms

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(Reuters) – AT&T Inc said on Friday it expects global subscribers of between 120 million and 150 million for HBO Max and HBO by the end of 2025, raising its forecast as more people turn to cheaper streaming services for entertainment.

The U.S. wireless company previously projected 75 million to 90 million subscribers for the same period.

The forecast raise comes as HBO Max, which includes 10,000 hours of content from WarnerMedia brands and libraries such as Warner Bros, New Line Cinema and Cartoon Network, competes in a crowded streaming landscape dominated by Netflix Inc, Walt Disney Co-owned Disney+ and Amazon.com Inc’s Prime Video.

An advertising-supported version of HBO Max will launch in the United States in June, and HBO Max will expand internationally to 60 markets, the company said.

AT&T expects its HBO business unit revenues to more than double over the next five years.

Shares of AT&T were up 1.5% at $29.99 per share in morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange. AT&T will host an investor and analyst presentation later on Friday.

(Reporting by Eva Mathews and Munsif Vengattil in Bengaluru and Sheila Dang in Dallas; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri, Devika Syamnath and Jonathan Oatis)

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